Pavlik proves he’s ultimate survivor

first_imgHe took it in the seventh round with Taylor hemmed in a corner and knocked him out with a flurry of punches Saturday night to take Taylor’s undisputed middleweight title. Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs) remained undefeated, while Taylor (27-1-1) suffered his first loss. Pavlik nearly wasn’t around after the second round, when Taylor caught him with an overhand right and then sent him to his hands and knees with a fusillade of rights and lefts. But Pavlik survived the round “as if nothing had happened,” marveled Taylor’s trainer, Emanuel Steward. “When I saw that, I said, `Wow, we’re in trouble,”‘ Steward said. BOXING: Almost KO’d in the second, he takes Taylor’s title in the seventh round. By David Porter THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Trailing on the judges’ cards after nearly being bludgeoned into submission early on, Kelly Pavlik knew he still had a puncher’s chance remaining against Jermain Taylor. The win was similar to Pavlik’s recent wins over Jose Luis Zertuche and Edison Miranda, when Pavlik absorbed punishment early before switching on the power. “We stuck to our game plan,” Pavlik said Saturday. “I knew eventually my power would catch up to him, and that’s what happened. I knew if I could survive the second round I’d have the fight.” The judges weren’t exactly in agreement: none of the three had Pavlik winning more than two of the first six rounds. Undefeated Andre Berto stopped David Estrada in the 11th round to win the NABF welterweight title on the undercard. Middleweight Ronald Hearns also remained undefeated by stopping Robert Kamya in the first round. Taylor entered the fight looking to buff up his image after what some perceived as a lackluster decision over Cory Spinks in May. He did that almost immediately, pounding Pavlik in the second round. It wasn’t enough. “I have to give credit to Kelly,” Taylor said. “He got up and came back strong. I was very surprised he kept going.” Pavlik regained momentum in the third, backing Taylor into a corner and landing several lefts and rights to the head. But Taylor counterpunched effectively, leaving Pavlik bleeding from the nose and mouth by the end of the fifth round. Taylor repeatedly worked out of the corners, often throwing some of his best combinations while working out of jams. But he used that tactic once too often, and in the seventh round it worked against him. With the largely pro-Pavlik crowd chanting “Kel-ly! Kel-ly! Kel-ly!” Pavlik slowly gained momentum, though he was still taking most of the punishment right up until the knockout. He landed a straight right and left uppercut that put Taylor back against the ropes, then finished the job. “I thought I had him in the second round,” Taylor said. “I threw too many punches. He fought a great fight. In the middle rounds I thought I was losing and I wasted too much energy.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img